wages. Then, when the balance of power changed in the early 1970s, productivity continued
to grow, but wages have stagnated.
Today, average wages are only 15 percent higher than average wages in 1980, despite a 67
percent increase in productivity. And, consider the facts that U.S. workers:
- Are the most productive workers in the world,
- Work longer hours than workers in any other developed country, and
- Live in a country whose economy generates over $13 trillion a year in income.
The productivity-wage relationship was the foundation of an understanding between workers
and employers after World War II, when there was a rough balance of power between the
two. Workers were sharing in the benefits of economic growth. Today, that power balance is
gone, and the understanding has fallen apart, leaving workers behind.